Could Oracle’s Next-Gen SPARC Platform Boost Its Hardware Segment?



Oracle’s eighth-generation SPARC platform launched

On September 18, 2017, Oracle (ORCL) unveiled its eighth-generation SPARC platform, powered by the new SPARC M8 microprocessor. This upgrade came two years after the release of the SPARC M7 processor. Oracle claims that the new SPARC platform can deliver hashing and encryption two times faster than Intel’s (INTC) x86 platform.

Highlighting performance enhancements of the SPARC platform, which can run JAVA and in-memory analytics, Oracle noted, “SPARC was already the fastest, most secure processor in the world for running Oracle Database and Java. SPARC M8 extends that lead even further.”

SPARC is the RISC-based[1. reduced instruction set computing] processor that Oracle obtained through the Sun Microsystems acquisition in 2009. SPARC has been used to run Unix workloads and is offered on the company’s servers and Engineered Systems products.

Oracle’s Engineered Systems product line encompasses Exalogic, Exadata, Exalytics, Big Data Appliance, and SPARC SuperCluster. Oracle’s Engineered Systems segment offers integrated solutions in which software, hardware, and services work in unison, which is preferred in the technology market.

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Oracle’s move from hardware to cloud

Oracle views its eighth version of its SPARC processors as a key to running business applications and scale-out environments in Oracle Cloud and on-site. Oracle’s announcement of recent layoffs was primarily focused on its Hardware segment. The company is channeling its focus to expand its data center presence globally and is investing in improved cloud infrastructure.

Citing Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, eWeek wrote, “Oracle is moving as quickly as they can to get out of anything that is proprietary and not supported by open source.” The report added, “Oracle’s biggest threat right now is more the cloud and open-source databases … than it is hardware platforms.”

Although Oracle continues to scale up in the cloud space, it has not been able to crack the top five spots in the cloud space. More than half the cloud space is dominated by Amazon (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT), Google (GOOG), and IBM (IBM).


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